Brand confusion.

Discussion in 'The Beginner' started by Jarod, Aug 29, 2016.

  1. Jarod

    Jarod Read Only Funster

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    Hi all, I know that this is a big ask but I don't know where to start with so many brands of MH, almost all of which I've never even heard of. I could really use some guidance as to which ones to avoid or go for. I'm aware that personal experience will cloud the matter, but personal experience is better than none at all. Any opinions gratefully received.
     
  2. mjltigger

    mjltigger Funster

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    Layout layout layout then dealer then brand IMV
     
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  3. Jarod

    Jarod Read Only Funster

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    Thanks for your insight.
     
  4. Eddystone

    Eddystone Funster

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    I agree. You need to think about how you will use your unit.
    Personally I think a fixed bed is a waste of space in a 6m MH but others see it as an essential.
    If you want a fully winterised unit with twin floors you have to think continental.
     
  5. Spidey

    Spidey Funster

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    There are so many makes it is really difficult to decide, we had the same issue when we bought.

    I decided what i wanted in a motorhome and looked at all the makes to see which one did that layout. It was narrowed down to three makes. Adria, Chausson and Rapido were the makes that did a 6 m van we wanted. Looked at all three several times and the Chausson looked the best to us for the price we wanted to pay.

    We thought it was lovely and had, apart from niggles, 2 years of ownership. We have now changed to a bigger van ( and again layout led the way) but also we wanted a little more quality. So we now have a Hymer which seems to be more solid and quieter. But you pay for it, so it has to be layout and price led. Dealer is really important for backup as well.
     
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  6. pyro

    pyro Funster

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    I get a sense of déjà vu in answering this question.

    Layout is the second most important factor (in my view). The most important thing is to carefully review your expectations of what you need, then only then do you search for the layout characteristics that most suit those expectations.

    Chassis is fairly irrelevant, mostly Fiat and Mercedes, with a smattering of Fords. All have pretty established commercial heritage.

    The list below details our main considerations

    General:
    1. Primary use: Touring or Stopping more than couple of days at a time?
    2. Storage: Will it fit on the drive
    3. Size: Will it be used only on A and some B roads, or will it be used exploring side roads
    4. Parking: Will it (just about) fit in regular sized spaces?
    5. Handling: Can missus drive it to give me a break on long trips?
    6. Racks/etc: Will we be lugging around surf boards, bikes, parachutes, etc?
    7. Garage: Do we really need to add an extra metre on the length to lug around stuff we may never need at the expense of crosswind handling issues?
    Accommodation:
    1. Belted seats: How many will usually be on board?
    2. Dining: Will we ever realistically be entertaining 6 people around the dining table for a formal meal without a real oven?
    3. Layout: Do we want fixed bed or convertible?
    Use:
    1. Will we ever really use it in Antarctica, the Gobi desert or ford African rivers?
    2. Mileage: Are we really going to do 20k miles or more a year?
    3. Weight: 3.5 tons and village friendly, or larger
    4. Will we be living in it?

    Cost: Proportionate to our usage expectations. It wouldn't be our "home", it would be a mobile holiday apartment. A base to explore from, neither a status symbol, a cattle truck nor a converted kebab van

    Our decision was to find a van that was easy to handle, modern in design, something suited for two (with occasional extra space for the odd occasion when one or other of our daughters joined us), fixed bed (because we go to sleep at different times to each other and sometimes one or other if us fancy a quick nap), 6M long to fit space on our drive in the UK (instead of 7M long with a "garage" we'll never need on the back), manoeuvrable to cater for smaller Portuguese roads (where we live part of the year), not necessarily equipped for long stays (mostly for touring/exploring) and light enough to cross modest bridges, etc

    The vehicle that fitted our needs most was the Chausson 515 on a Fiat 130 chassis. Not the biggest, not the heaviest, not the fastest, not the most costly to buy, run and maintain. But then again, we really don’t need a Unimog, an amphibious vehicle or a 40 ft slide out American RV with ensuite spa bath, yada, yada.

    We’re very happy with our choice. The team spirit we enjoy on our fairly modest (to date) adventures, the wonderful comradeship of the road and the convenience all make up for any shortcomings in our choice of M/H. The label on the back panel is of no real importance, it is what you want to use it for that counts, so choose very wisely.

    Happy travels and subscribe to the forum, you'll get all the help you need
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2016
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  7. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    The Construction method was my primary consideration in choosing our van..

    My advice when choosing a motorhome. .

    1. Construction method, 2. Marque, 3. Size, 4. Layout, 5. Winterised 6. Dealer

    Construction.
    I wanted a bonded sandwich construction, no timber frame, with insulation that did not absorb water.. I chose Hymer, they are not the only constructor using this method..

    Size,
    I wanted it no more than 7mt , this would fit on my drive, and not too big for parking in a village.

    Layout,
    fixed transverse bed with garage, front L shaped lounge. Drop down bed over cab.

    Winterised.
    We want to use all year round, so fully winterised, fresh and grey water tanks between a double floor . (not underslung) Hot air heating to all areas, including garage and between floors. Good wall insulation.

    Dealer..
    local with good reputation.. I chose Becks in Yarmouth.


    Buy the wrong construction and no matter how good the layout or how nice the shiny appliances, you won't be smiling when you have a swimming pool .. and worse, when it rots away before your eyes .. the forums are full of vans that have bad damp and wood rot.. don't buy one. Google it.. damp motorhomes.

    Look for a construction system that does not use a timber frame.. one that will not rot .. leaks can happen in all vans but with a no wood to rot and insulation that does not absorb water, it's not a problem.
    Panel delamination is another problem.. A member on here has a Rapido that looks like it has water ingress at a window seal which has seeped down inside the insulation and caused panel delamination.. this is an expensive defect to repair..


    It took a long while to find the right van for us..we eventually bought a 2001 LHD Hymer.. B644 .. so it has old reliable KISS technology... easy to repair and maintain and built to last.

    We have not been disappointed...

    Pictures here http://www.motorhomefun.co.uk/forum/showcase/hymer-b644-g.114/

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2016
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  8. Langtoftlad

    Langtoftlad Funster Life Member

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    Layout - Fixed Bed
    Length - To fit on drive
    Budget - How much I could afford
    Dealership - Because there would be problems/niggles

    Make or Brand didn't really come into it.

    To make me upgrade now would be quite difficult... either the current one would have to literally fall apart or become uneconomic to repair.
     
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  9. Lot lover

    Lot lover Funster

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    Price - funds available rule the roost. Eliminates shine and bling for us
    Layout - for us it was bathroom space primary importance, only need belted seats/beds for 2

    Not many met these criteria so a simple choice .
     
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